Conducting Research

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Using Finding Aids

Archival records are described in finding aids and our finding aids can be found in two places. Discover Archives (a shared platform with other University of Toronto archives) or our website. If you are searching finding aids on our website, you will see that they are organized into six categories:

See also:
Browse/Search our holdings
Requesting Files

  • Administrative bodies
  • Student/alumni organizations
  • Administrators/faculty personal papers
  • Students/alumni personal papers
  • Affiliates
  • Collections

Browsing: Descriptions of specific corporate and personal records can be accessed by clicking on the appropriate name, reading the fonds level description, and opening series and subseries descriptions (where applicable). Many fonds include descriptions down to the file level and include a box/file list; however, item level descriptions are rare. Click on the chevron symbol () to open additional descriptive information.

Searching: If you are searching our website, the search engine will search all the records using a basic keyword search. If you are searching the Discover Archives platform directly, please click the question mark in the top right for search assistance and for information on running advanced searches.

Requesting: Keep track of the records you wish to consult when you visit the Archives. Review our Requesting Files handout to learn how to identify and locate the information needed to request files in our finding aids. Records will be retrieved prior to your arrival.

Conducting Research in Person

Records can be viewed in the Emmanuel College Library by appointment only, from Monday to Friday, 9:00am to 4:45pm (9:00am to 3:45pm for July and August). Contact us to arrange an appointment. Minimum two business days advance notice is required.

See also:
Contact us
Requesting Files
Collection of Personal Information
Addresses and Parking

Researchers will be required to complete an application form at which point they will be asked to provide a valid photo identification such as a student card or driver's license. Researchers will also be asked to sign-in each day they visit.

  • Due to storage/retrieval limitations, a maximum of two archival boxes can be requested for one session.
  • Only pencils may be used by those consulting archival material. Library staff will provide a pencil if one is needed.
  • The use of laptop computers is encouraged. Power sources are provided at the tables in the reading room (Emmanuel College Library). Wireless access is also available.
  • For the protection and preservation of the material, gloves may be required for photographic material and will be provided by the Library.

The complete Rules and Regulations will be available to researchers either in advance of their visit or when they arrive.

Office Hours

See also:
Book your appointment

One hour appointments are available - Book your appointment online!

Do you have questions about conducting your research? Struggling with using a finding aid or other tools? Office Hours are a great way to connect and get assistance. You can request an in person or virtual appointment to talk with an Archivist about your research at the Victoria University Archives.

Obtaining Copies

Photocopies: Permission from the Archivist is required in order to photocopy records. The copies created are subject to copyright legislation, donor restrictions, and the physical condition of the materials.

Cameras and Scanners: Researchers are allowed to take non-flash photographs with their own camera, phone, or make use of a handheld scanner. For other digitization requests, permission from the Archivist is required. The copies created are subject to copyright legislation, donor restrictions, and the physical condition of the materials.

Records may not be copied if this involves an infringement of copyright. Copies are provided solely for the purpose of research or private study; use for any other purpose may require the authorization of the copyright owner. Through receipt of copies, the researcher assumes full responsibility for locating the copyright owner and obtaining any necessary authorizations for publication or any use other than research or private study.

See also:
Permission to Publish and Associated Fees form

Copyright matters are subject to the provisions of Canada's Copyright Act.

Providing access to collections or copies of archival materials does not include or imply permission to use the materials in a publication, broadcast, or performance. For permission to use materials in a publication, broadcast, or performance, written application must be made to the Library using the Permission to Publish and Associated Fees form.

Note: The Archives can only grant permission for the materials where Victoria University holds the copyright. If the copyright for the requested materials is not held by Victoria University, the researcher assumes full responsibility for locating the copyright owner and obtaining any necessary authorizations for publication or any use other than research or private study.

Citing Archival Material

See also:
Dalhousie University Library's Guide to Archival Research provides citation standard examples.

Researchers should cite archival material according to applicable standards. Common citation standards include American Psychological Association (APA), Modern Languages Association (MLA), and the Chicago Manual of Style. Regardless of the standard followed, citations will usually contain the following elements:

Title - Files will have titles either assigned by an archivist or provided by the creator of the file.

  • Correspondence
  • North House Sweater

Name and number of fonds/collection - Each fonds or collection will have a name and number given to it.

  • Collection 2188 - Victoria University (Toronto, Ont.). Artifacts Collection
  • Fonds 2110 - Margaret V. Ray fonds

Accession, Box, and File/Item numbers - These number act like a library call number. This is what's required to locate specific materials.

  • Our accession, box and file numbers are formatted in the following way: 2018.07V1-6
  • 2018.07V (accession number); 1 (box number); 6 (file number)
  • Note that artifacts and photographs may not use the V in the accession number.

Repository and Location - The name of the archives and it's location.

  • Victoria University Archives, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Last updated: September 19, 2022